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Better Business Bureau Warns Against Work at Home Scams

By September 23, 2009

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The Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota (BBB) is warning the public of a Minnesota-based work-at-home offer which appears to have been authenticated by the BBB but in reality has not, according to this work at home scams article in the Pine Journal.

One of the latest in a long string of work at home scams, these scammers are using a technique used by others to scam the public who are looking for work at home opportunities without being scammed in the process: The assertion by the scammers that they are somehow "endorsed" or "approved" by the Better Business Bureau. Of course, they are not.

According to the Pine Journal article, the BBB has received complaints against a Woodbury, Minnesota company called Force One Events, Inc. The company, which, the article reports, actually has an F (lowest possible) rating with the BBB, advertises through a Web site (www.3hourprofits.com), which claims to guarantee consumers they can earn income within three hours of signing up for their service, at a cost of $39.

Much like the Google work from home scams, operating under the name Easy Google Profits and others, you won't get much information from the Website without first divvying up your credit card. However, to their credit, 3-Hour Profits actually allows you to pay via check or money order using the information provided on its Contact page. Also, unlike the Google and Twitter scams, there is a Questions page that provides answers to some questions, although it provides no real information on what you will have to do. And, the company only claims to want a one-time payment of $39, unlike other scammers who will continually charge your credit card until you make them stop. The program also promises that if you don't make any money with it after 60-days, they'll refund your money.

The problem I have is that they keep claiming "Real Profits within 3 Hours - We Guarantee It", when in fact, you can't get a refund unless you follow the program for 60 days and don't make any money. The article said the company's response to complaints has been: "Refunds are only granted to individuals who have actually applied the company’s program for a period of 60 days and have followed their daily schedule in the program." To me, there's a HUGE difference between 3 hours and 60 days. But, then again, maybe I just fell off the turnip truck.

As best I can tell, this "work at home opportunity" or "work at home scam" if you feel that way, involves how to operate an affiliate marketing home business. Possibly, becoming an affiliate to offer this $39 "system" by placing links to it on your site and other sites where you have the ability to post links and/or ads, or by placing ads through pay-per-click programs, such as Google AdWords.

The other issue that the BBB took exception to appears that it may have already been resolved by the company. The article goes on to say:
"There’s also a section of the company’s Web site which lists an endorsement from an organization called BBB Reviews.org. This organization is NOT affiliated with the Better Business Bureau in any way. BBB Reviews.org is an online service of unknown origin which claims that it ‘investigates work from home Internet schemes daily,’ and also purports to rank the top 5 offers consumers can trust. However, it has been the experience of the Better Business Bureau that virtually all work-at-home offers are not legitimate and the only ones who profit from offers like these are the people making the offers."
It wouldn't be the first time that some work at home scam Website lied about being in good graces with the BBB. Geesh, who can you trust these days?

I didn't see any evidence of BBB Reviews on the 3 Hour Profits site when I visited it just one day after the Pine Journal report, so it appears that at least the site is complying with that issue. And if that's the only issue the BBB has that has encouraged it to call this a work at home scam, they may end up backing off a bit. I'm not really sure you could accurately call this a work at home scam. After all, you know up front what you're paying, you can pay be check or, better yet, with a money order, and it only appears you need to make one payment. But it was the last sentence of the previous quote that got my attention:

...it has been the experience of the Better Business Bureau that virtually all work-at-home offers are not legitimate and the only ones who profit from offers like these are the people making the offers."

That's what I've been saying all along! Either start business of your own or get a real job that allows you to work from home. It's these "offers" that are going to get you in trouble. After all, there's plenty of information available, including on this site, on affiliate marketing - assuming that's what this is. Why would you want to pay for a "secret system"? Spend your money taking an online class or on a really good eBook - not to access someone else's "secret sauce".

Related:

Legitimate Work at Home Business, or Work at Home Scams?
Reporting Work at Home Scams
Have You Been Caught by Work at Home Scams?
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